Group demands tighter security in schools after molestation of Camarines Sur teachers

August 16, 2022 - 11:54 AM
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Teacher's desk
Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

A nontraditional teachers’ organization called for tighter security in schools following the reported molestation of four educators in Camarines Sur.

An armed suspect allegedly molested four teachers after declaring a holdup in a school in Ocampo town in Camarines Sur last Monday, August 8.

Based on reports, the Philippine National Police already identified the suspect who remained at large.

Lieutenant Sheralyn Samonte, the spokesperson of the Camarines Sur police, said that they had already conducted an operation to locate and arrest the suspect.

In a statement on August 12, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines condemned such an act of violence against the teachers, citing schools are supposed to be “safe spaces” for education.

“Such violence has no place in our society, much more in our schools which are supposed to be safe spaces for teachers and learners. Such violence should never be inflicted on anyone, much more to our hapless teachers who have been sacrificing their rest days to prepare our schools for the class opening,” the alliance said.

“We demand that our colleagues be given all the needed support and assistance for them to obtain justice and rise above this dark experience,” it added.

This incident also “exposed” the poor security in schools that made them vulnerable to violent crimes, the ACT-Philippines stressed.

“The incident only exposes the vulnerability of our schools to scumbags who are out to harm innocent people. This should serve as a wake-up call for the government that has neglected our schools for so long that they cannot even employ security personnel to guard the safety of our teachers and learners,” the organization said.

The alliance then demanded that the government allot a sufficient budget for hiring security personnel in every school.

“In most public schools, it is still the teachers who take shifts in watching after the safety of their colleagues and the learners. Such neglect should stop now. We demand that a sufficient budget be provided for the hiring of security personnel in every school,” it said.

The organization also called for swift justice to be served to the teachers who were traumatized by the alleged violence perpetrated against them.

“We demand that the culprits be swiftly arrested and meted with punishment so that justice may be served to our colleagues who have been attacked by armed perpetrators and were traumatized by the incident,” the ACT-Philippines said.

DepEd to hire security

In a statement, the Department of Education also condemned the molestation of Camarines Sur teachers.

“We denounce any acts of violence and injustice towards our teachers, who have been showing their dedication and effort to deliver equitable, resilient, inclusive, and quality education to our learners,” DepEd said.

The agency said that it started to draft a joint memorandum circular with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Budget and Management “to emphasize using the Special Education Fund (SEF) to hire at least one security personnel per school and for the repair and construction of school buildings.”

“The said issuance will also prohibit the use of schools as isolation facilities, quarantine facilities and long-term evacuation centers, so that the use of our school facilities and classrooms will be limited to our learners and school personnel,” the education department said.

“The Department and our partners are committed to make our schools a safe space for our learners and teachers,” it added.